The July 27th PEW/Internet report “Teens and Technology: Youth are Leading the Transition to a Fully Wired and Mobile Nation” contains updated stats on the digital kids about to invade our classrooms in a couple weeks.

David Weinberger notes that girls appear to be the real power users according to the study. His top 4 stats from the study are worth reprinting here:
– About 21 million teens use the Internet and half of them say they go online every day
– 51% of online teens live in homes with broadband connections
– 81% of wired teens play games online, which is 52% higher than four years ago
– 76% of online teens get news online, 38% higher than four years ago

My responses to this study take the form of questions, that every superintendent should be asking his/her principals, and every principal should be asking his/her teachers:

1- Are you blogging yet? If not, why not? Get started.
2- What are you doing to help educate both students and parents about Internet safety?
3- Which teachers will be doing a podcasting pilot project this year?
4- How are you helping support students in their use of authentic technology tools for project based learning this year?

Sadly, like last year, my fear is that the questions being asked will be more focused on accountability, testing, and trying to make public schooling as unpleasant and boring as possible. But maybe not. There are plenty of great administrators out there who have the vision and the passion to ask these and other great questions, and expect superb answers.

Hopefully you’ve got one of those administrators at your school. My kids do!

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